Promoting Student Health For Student Success

School nurse and student


President Column

President Column

A message from Sue Nokleby, SNOM President:

With the quick change from winter to spring, tulips and daffodils are coming up. Just in time for National School Nurse Day! May 9th is a day to stop and reflect on your school nurse practice. Use the Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice to understand how are you focused on meeting student health needs. Some examples of the Components are in each Principle below. Be prepared when someone asks you what school nurses do by sharing how you implement those Principles and Components.

Standards of Practice: Explaining why peroxide and rubbing alcohol are not appropriate to treat wounds is Evidence-based Practice. By safeguarding a student’s right to confidentiality and privacy, school nurses are exhibiting Code of Ethics. Every day school nurses use Critical Thinking to help accommodate a student with disabilities to receive the education they deserve. Delegation requires knowing Nurse Practice Acts. The Scope and Standards define school nursing practice.

Care Coordination: When helping a student with diabetes count carbs and calculate insulin, school nurses are providing Chronic Disease Management. Serving on Child Find, IEP, and wellness committees, school nurses are functioning in Interdisciplinary Teams. Teaching a student to recognize their asthma triggers and proper use of inhalers is encouraging Student Self-empowerment.

Leadership: Advocacy includes contacting Child Protection when school nurses suspect a student abuse or neglect. The use of electronic health records, thermometer and stethoscope are forms of Technology. Attending workshops and conferences are not merely to renew the school nurse license, but acknowledge the importance of being a Life Long Learner.

Quality Improvement: A critical review and revision as necessary of school policies, procedures and guidelines is part of Continuous Quality Improvement. Monitoring the effectiveness of medication for a student with ADHD is critical for Meaningful Health/Academic Outcomes. Part of health service Evaluation is submitting annual report to school administration.

Community/Public Health: School nurses watch for illness trends in schools, which is Surveillance. Hand washing education for students is essential for Disease Prevention. Understanding a variety of health practices and beliefs, a school nurse can demonstrate Cultural Competency. Working with students in schools is Population-based Care.

For more resources to promote National School Nurse Day, look at the resources on the NASN website ( For school nurses, who lack recognition on School Nurse day, acknowledge the day! Using the resources from NASN-put up a poster, tweet it out, send a news release to your local paper, and toot your own horn.

As seasons change, so does the SNOM board. Recent SNOM elections have produced new officers who will began their terms in July.
● President: Deb Mehr, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Schools
● Vice President: Mary Yackley, St. Paul Public Schools
● Treasurer: Pam Walcher, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools, 2nd term
● Secretary: Gretchen Gosh, Edina Schools
● NASN Director: Mary Heiman, Edina Schools
Congratulate them and ask about opportunities to serve on a SNOM committee.